Fo­cus On... Ed­in­burgh

No.1 cel­e­brates the buzz of Scot­land’s sec­ond-largest city

No. 1 Magazine - - NEWS - www.the­signetli­bray.co.uk/colon­nades

The city of Ed­in­burgh is al­ways buzzing, what­ever time of the year. As Christ­mas ap­proaches, there is no let up, as a whole pro­gramme of events is un­der way. No.1 in­vites you to be­come a tourist in your own coun­try by vis­it­ing, and re-vis­it­ing, this amaz­ing city and im­mers­ing your­self in all it has to of­fer, from en­joy­ing fes­tive fam­ily events and ex­plor­ing its hid­den gems to un­cov­er­ing its cul­tural her­itage.

CHRIST­MAS IN THE CAP­I­TAL

Ed­in­burgh’s Christ­mas is one of the big­gest cel­e­bra­tions in the UK and this year will see the bright­est pro­gramme of events across the city cen­tre to date. This year the cel­e­bra­tions ex­pand into the West End for the first time, and will stretch from Fes­ti­val Square to St Andrew Square in the East End. This will be the fourth year the event has been staged by live en­ter­tain­ment or­gan­is­ers, Un­der­belly, on be­half of the City of Ed­in­burgh Coun­cil. Un­der­belly Di­rec­tor Char­lie Wood said: “Ed­in­burgh is well-used to big events hap­pen­ing on its doorstep and so em­braces it even more. I think that if we were do­ing this in a city that didn’t have such history, it would be more work and more has­sle.” Around 350,000 peo­ple are ex­pected at this year’s Street of Light, when Ge­orge Street will be lit by 60,000 bulbs. Other events in­clude a pro­duc­tion in the Fes­ti­val Square The­atre of the hit mu­si­cal Five Guys Named Moe and a magic show by Mor­gan and West. The Euro­pean Christ­mas Mar­ket in Princes Street Gar­dens features over 100 stalls, pro­vid­ing a won­der­ful se­lec­tion of food, drink and hand­made gifts. Ed­in­burgh’s Christ­mas is firmly fo­cused on fam­i­lies and Princes Street Gar­dens re­mains its fo­cal point, with Santa’s grotto, the Santa Train, the Christ­mas Tree Maze, Carousel and Big Wheel prov­ing star at­trac­tions. The ice rink in St Andrew Square is an­other pop­u­lar draw for all ages.

MORE FES­TIVE FUN

Be filled with fes­tive cheer as you en­joy a glass of mulled wine, hot mince pies and sing Christ­mas songs for Carols at the Cot­tage, at the Royal Botanic Gar­den on De­cem­ber 6. Con­sider a clue-led fes­tive ad­ven­ture around Ne­whailes, fin­ish­ing with a craft ac­tiv­ity for all of the fam­ily at Christ­mas Trails and Crafts, at Ne­whailes, Mus­sel­burgh on De­cem­ber 10, 11, 17 and 18. Fol­low the Star is the theme

of the sev­enth Christ­mas Tree Fes­ti­val at St Andrew’s and St Ge­orge’s West churches in the cen­tre of Ed­in­burgh (De­cem­ber 10-24) where live mu­sic will be pro­vided by lo­cal choirs and mu­si­cians. Blood­wise Rein­deer Run on De­cem­ber 11 is a fes­tive fun run held in Holy­rood Park. Fancy dress is strongly en­cour­aged and you re­ceive your very own rein­deer antlers to wear on the day. The event raises funds for can­cer char­ity Blood­wise. Then there’s a fes­tive sto­ry­telling work­shop called Step into Christ­mas at the Scot­tish Sto­ry­telling Cen­tre on the Royal Mile, which in­cludes fun-filled ac­tiv­i­ties for all the fam­ily on De­cem­ber 16-17. Don’t miss the fes­tive mar­kets in the city cen­tre. En­joy de­li­cious food and drink and tra­di­tional crafts at the Scot­tish Mar­ket in St Andrew Square, pick up unique gifts and goods at the Euro­pean Mar­ket in the Mound Precinct or choose presents for the wee ones in the Chil­dren’s Mar­ket, part of Santa Land in Princes Street Gar­dens. And fi­nally, there’s Mag­ifest Christ­mas Spe­cial at Ge­orge Square The­atre (De­cem­ber 27-30) show­cas­ing cut­ting-edge il­lu­sions and min­dread­ing to mes­meris­ing sleight-of-hand magic and edge-of-your-seat lev­i­ta­tion, this show is not to be missed!

MON­KEY­ING AROUND

Christ­mas aside, there is a whole pro­gramme of ex­hi­bi­tions and events at Ed­in­burgh’s many mu­se­ums... At the National Mu­seum of Scot­land, 10 gal­leries con­tain an A to Z of ex­hibits, rang­ing from Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell to Zan­dra Rhodes. Many tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions staged in the mu­seum are col­lab­o­ra­tions with other mu­se­ums. How­ever, the next one, Mon­key Busi­ness (from De­cem­ber 9) – which takes place in its 150th an­niver­sary year and fol­lows the mu­seum’s ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment – has re­ceived no out­side help. More than 50 spec­tac­u­lar new taxi­dermy spec­i­mens of mon­keys, apes, lemurs, lorises and bush-ba­bies will be re­vealed in the most com­pre­hen­sive ex­hi­bi­tion on pri­mates ever. The taxi­dermy was spe­cially com­mis­sioned for the ex­hi­bi­tion, which is the first to show pri­mates be­hav­ing as if they were in the wild. Dy­namic poses cap­ture the wide va­ri­ety of be­hav­iours of some of the world’s most en­dan­gered pri­mates.

POR­TRAITS OF SCOT­TISH GREATS

The National Por­trait Gallery in Queen Street is one of the most im­pres­sive build­ings in Ed­in­burgh. De­signed by Sir Robert Rowand An­der­son, it opened in 1889 as the world’s first pur­pose-built por­trait gallery. The Por­trait Gallery’s col­lec­tion is an ex­cep­tional national re­source of over 30,000 fas­ci­nat­ing images in­cor­po­rat­ing a rich va­ri­ety of me­dia and in­clud­ing many in­ter­na­tion­ally out­stand­ing works of art. The por­traits de­pict the men and women whose lives and achieve­ments helped shape Scot­land and the wider world. The Gallery is also home to an out­stand­ing col­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs which in­cludes around 6,000 works by the early Scot­tish pi­o­neers of the medium, Robert Adam­son and David Oc­tavius Hill, as well as new works by lead­ing-edge con­tem­po­rary pho­tog­ra­phers.

CEL­E­BRATE IN THE SIGNET

De­scribed by King Ge­orge IV as “the finest draw­ing room in Europe”, the Signet Li­brary in Par­lia­ment Square (be­hind St Giles Cathe­dral) now serves as a work­ing law li­brary and fash­ion­able eatery. The Colon­nades Restau­rant is housed in the 1822 build­ing of­fer­ing some of the best nou­velle cui­sine (and Af­ter­noon Teas) in the cap­i­tal. At Colon­nades not only are you able to set foot into this 19th cen­tury build­ing, you can also en­joy some of the finest food and drink in Scot­land. Cel­e­brate in style!

The Street of Light

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